Thursday, June 3, 2010
An attorney has been suspended for an indefinite period of at least five months by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The attorney had been charged with misconduct in two matters. The first involved failures to file income tax returns over a twelve- year period. The court rejected the suggestion that such failures did not violate ethical rules or must be intentional to constitute a violation, finding contrary precedent dating back to 1977. The court also found that the referee had rejected the defense of reliance on the advice of an accountant on credibility grounds.
The other case involved failure to comply with federal court requirements where the communication with the attorney was done through the court's electronic system. The attorney had claimed that the electronic notification system was "prone to errors" and that she had only received some of the court's e-mail communications. The referee found no evidence that messages were returned undelivered or had not been received. The referee also rejected the attorney's claims that the conduct was a result of either post-traumatic stress disorder or "computer phobia." (Mike Frisch)